The Colfax boys came out strong and took a big halftime lead on their way to a 54-36 win over Elmwood for their second conference win of the season, Dec. 12 on their home court, then stayed right there for a Saturday matinee game against the Amery Warriors two days later. After a slow start by both teams, the Vikings turned a 10 point halftime lead into a 46-30 win.
The Raiders were state qualifiers in Division 5 last year but they lost most of their fire power from that team. Although they took a 2-0 lead to start things off, that was their only lead of the game as Ethin Kiekhafer got the ball rolling with a three pointer for Colfax. Grant Phillips followed by swiping the ball away and scoring, Jeremiah Wait dropped in a pair of free throws, Jarrod Rudi drove the baseline for a bucket, Kiekhafer hit a free toss, Sawyer DeMoe scored on a turn around jumper and Kiekhafer added an old fashioned three point play on a deuce and a free throw for a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
DeMoe went to work big time in the next eight minutes, hitting five times from close range with a free toss for 11 of the Vikings’ 22 points in the second stanza while Kiekhafer added seven. Andy Larson came up with his first points of the season as he nailed a triple from the corner as the horn went off and Colfax held a 37-16 halftime lead.
Colfax let up a bit in the second half, scoring just five third quarter points but their defense continued to shine and they took a 42-23 lead into the final eight minutes. The Raiders came up with 13 points in the fourth, nine from the foul line as the Vikings committed their tenth foul early in the quarter. Colfax finished things off with a DeMoe bucket, a pair of Kiekhafer freebies and his deuce off a put back, a Rudi drive for two, Kiekhafer’s 22nd point of the game on a drive through the lane and Larson’s two free tosses for the final margin.
“We were able to control the tempo early and get the ball inside,” Colfax coach Garrett Maas said. “And defensively we did a good job of contesting all of their shots and controlling the boards.”
DeMoe finished with 15 points and the Vikings were 15 for 19 from the foul line while the Raiders were 14 for 19.
COLFAX (54) Kiekhafer 7-6-7-22, DeMoe 7-1-2-15, Rudi 2-1-2-5, Larson 1-2-2-5, Phillips 1-2-2-4, Wait 0-3-4-3
ELMWOOD (36) L. Wolf 4-5-7-15, N. Wells 3-0-0-8, T. Freyholtz 1-4-4-6, N. Webb 1-1-2-3, T. Joyce 0-2-2-2, N. Bechel 0-2-4-2
THREE POINTERS: Kiekhafer 2, Wolf 2, Wells 2, Larson 1
Playing in front of a sparse crowd and an awfully quiet one at that, the Vikings used six points from Phillips on a deuce, a triple and a free toss to take a 12-8 first quarter lead. The Colfax defense pretty much shut the Warriors down by holding them to a lone three pointer in the second quarter while they came up with points on a Ben Kragness free throw, a pair of freebies by Wait, back to back buckets in the paint from DeMoe and a couple of freebies from Kiekhafer. Amery had the ball almost 40 seconds for a final shot but the Vikings didn’t allow them to even see the basket, much less shoot the ball and they held a 21-11 lead at the break.
“Amery played on the road last night and I think they looked a little sluggish,” Maas said. “But we controlled the boards and our inside game was better than theirs and that’s where we were scoring most of our points.”
Amery pulled to within seven points late in the third stanza but Kiekhafer put the dagger in with a pair of triples, including one with two seconds left for a 32-19 lead heading into the final eight minutes. DeMoe knocked down a trio of buckets from close range and the Vikings went 8 for 13 at the foul line to close things out as Wait was 3 for 4 and Rudi 2 for 2. For the game Colfax was 17 for 25 at the line and the Warriors were 1 for 4. DeMoe led the Vikings with 15 points while Kiekhafer added 10. 17 of Amery’s points came from Jordan Luehman which included five triples.
“We couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean from long range today but our defense picked us up,” Maas said. “Larson had some valuable minutes off the bench for us and Phillips got us going offensively in the first quarter. We need a good team effort just like this every game,” he added.
COLFAX (46) DeMoe 7-1-3-15, Kiekhafer 2-4-6-10, Phillips 2-1-2-6, Kragness 1-4-6-6, Wait 0-5-6-5, Rudi 1-2-2-4
AMERY (30) Luehman 6-0-0-17, M. Elbing 3-1-3-8, Z. Anderson 1-0-0-3, C. Wears 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Luehman 5, Kiekhafer 2, Phillips 1, Elbing 1, Anderson 1